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Epiphany of the Long Sun: Calde of the Long…
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Epiphany of the Long Sun: Calde of the Long Sun and Exodus from the Long… (edição 2000)

por Gene Wolfe

Séries: The Book of the Long Sun (Omnibus 3-4), Solar Cycle (Omnibus 8-9)

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After becoming the first Cald in more than a century, Silk gets a glimpse into the nature of the Whorl and of his own purpose.
Título:Epiphany of the Long Sun: Calde of the Long Sun and Exodus from the Long Sun (Book of the Long Sun, Books 3 and 4)
Autores:Gene Wolfe
Informação:Orb Books (2000), Edition: 1st, Paperback, 720 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca

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Epiphany of the Long Sun: Caldé of the Long Sun and Exodus from the Long Sun por Gene Wolfe

Adicionado recentemente porbiblioteca privada, wyclif, Sunyidean, mycroftcanner, joshua.denby, justifiedsinner, eshungate, bgraber, fly_agaric
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The closing arc of the Long Sun series is this Epiphany, comprising Caldé of the Long Sun and Exodus from the Long Sun. As in the prior New Sun series, our protagonist ascends to political sovereignty before arriving at apotheosis. A key difference, mentioned in my review of Litany of the Long Sun, is that he is not the narrator. The fictive authorship of these Long Sun books is in fact established in the final volume. That turn is handled artfully in a concluding "Defense," and then cleverly undermined in a subsequent "Afterward" (sic).

Where the earlier part of the series seemed to bring the relations between bios and chems into relief, there was a significant emphasis in this one on speaking animal characters: the bird Oreb and the cat Tick. As I understand many readers to have done, I became a great fan of Oreb. Tick was mostly irritating.

Much of these last two books concerned the increasing intensity of political and military relations between the city-states of Viron and Trivigaunte. Their cultures and technologies are very distinct, and these supply a lot of fuel to the plot.

There was a good deal of positive development of the characters from the Chapter that supplied Viron with its religious officials. Both Incus and Remora--with their respective verbal idiosyncrasies--underwent a fair amount of rehabilitation in this second arc. An important Patera Jerboa was introduced, and there was new and interesting information about the Sybils Mint and Marble. A startling explanation was supplied very late for the enigmas surrounding the Prolocutor Patera Quetzal.

I disagree with some other readers who insist that the Long Sun tale of Patera Silk is subordinated to author Wolfe's Catholic Christian agenda. While it's undeniably true that Vironese religion draws on biblical materials and the history of both Catholic practices and the pagan religions with which Christianity has competed and participated in cultural exchange, it would be a mistake to read the story of the Vironese "Exodus" as just a rehash of the Hebrew one with Silk as Moses. Silk's personal patron deity the Outsider is certainly meant to reference the God of Christianity, but there's little evidence that the Outsider will enjoy any ultimate success, and Silk seems to be significantly reconciled (an understatement?) with Pas in the final book. The "Prophet Auk" is perhaps even more in the position of Moses, but at the behest of Tartaros. The Triviguantis are shown as being culpably monotheistic with their exclusive reverence of Sphigx, which is an interesting turn.

For some reason, it wasn't until I had finished reading the whole series that I recognized the actual point of future-historical intersection with (or divergence from, rather) the New Sun books, which was signaled by the two-headed Pas, father of the gods of Viron and its Whorl.

It appears that the Short Sun books take up as pretty direct sequels to the Long Sun, and I will read them this year.
3 vote paradoxosalpha | Mar 25, 2021 |
  georgematt | Jan 29, 2010 |
I recently decided to re-read the Long Sun books, since they were sitting on the shelf from a decade ago, and all I could remember of them was that they were good. And that I had been somewhat confused by them. So, resolving to read slowly and thoughtfully, I read them again. If anything, I think I enjoyed them more this time, though that probably has more to do with me growing older than anything else. They're not perfect (thus the 4 stars), and Wolfe does play some games that I find a bit annoying, but that's easily overlooked. For instance, one could be mightily pissed that, after reading a third-person narrative for 1200 pages, one reads that the entire story was actually "written" by one of the secondary characters in the book. Take that seriously, and you have to re-evaluate the entire sequence based on that character's limited knowledge of events. So, I just decided that was a device of Wolfe's to lead into the next trilogy (The Short Sun books) and ignored it. Other than a few unexplained oddities here and there (e.g., What is the significance of Maytera Marble's various names, why does she lie about being originally named Molybdenum?), the book (it's one long book, just as Lord of the Rings is one book) is quite straight-forward and a great story. We never do find out (in this book, anyway) who the gods really are, though we can guess. Silk is a fascinating character, and if you don't find that to be true, this book is not for you. This is Silk's story, and he likes to talk. Boy does he like to talk. He's a very thoughtful, sensitive, and intelligent man, yet he falls in love with a whore who couldn't be more different from him. She's about as deep as a puddle. Not sure what Wolfe is trying to say there. There's hints of Wolfe's Roman Catholicism all over the place. Silk's religion is like a Catholic-Pagan hybrid. It's fascinating to read, if you treat it almost like an archeological puzzle. Where did the Whorl (the generation starship the book takes place in) come from, and who launched it? Where is it going? Is it off course, or broken? The Cargo (Silk and everyone else inside the Whorl) have lost much knowledge of their own past, and we are limited in our understanding just as they are. Over the course of the book, we see Silk grow from a shy parish priest into a great leader, and a similar change occurs in one of the "sisters," Maytera Mint. It's interesting to see how belief can help people grow and become who they are meant to be, even though we know (and Silk knows, towards the end) that the gods are not really as we think they are. This is, after all, science fiction, not fantasy. It's some of the most subtle and well-written fiction of any kind that I've read in quite a while. Just prepare to take your time with it, like a fine meal. ( )
1 vote BobNolin | Feb 9, 2009 |
If you've read and been delighted by the first two quarters of Gene Wolfe's epic Long Sun saga, you won't be disappointed by parts III and IV.

In Part III, Patera Silk's rise to Calde continues through a chaotic civil insurrection, culminating in a confrontation with the surviving members of the city's oligarchy. Along the way Silk is reunited with some of his friends, not least his bird.

The culmination of this massive saga, i.e. part IV, subtitled Exodus from the Long Sun, is the longest and most complex and allusive of the four books. As the title implies, liberation is in the air, and I mean that in several senses of the phrase. The series ends in a rush of chaotic action, as Auk and Chenille blaze a trail for the rest of the Manteion to follow. The enigmatic fates of several other characters, Silk not the least, make this a bittersweet and highly effective climax.

Throughout this massive project Wolfe constructs a narrative that seems impossibly complex and almost random at first, but that is revealed in all its inevitability as it unfolds. This is truly a gift -- few writers, especially in scifi, can convince you better of the sense that what you're reading is a reality you're a part of. Wolfe's world haunts you even when you're not reading about it.

Reading Gene Wolfe is like no other reading experience I've ever had -- if I had to make a comparison, I'd say the impact is not unlike reading Faulkner. There are few writers that genuinely transcend their genres -- and all fiction writers are in the end writing in one genre or another -- but Wolfe is certainly one of them. ( )
1 vote mrtall | Jul 30, 2008 |
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After becoming the first Cald in more than a century, Silk gets a glimpse into the nature of the Whorl and of his own purpose.

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